When you’re injured in a car accident, through no fault of your own, it’s natural to be angry and frustrated. You not only have to deal with the physical pain of your injury – the accident can also create emotional stress and financial problems. Fortunately, there are steps you can take help things get better, but you shouldn’t wait long.
What is the statute of limitations?
Every driver on the road owes everyone else a duty of care. They must drive their car or truck in a safe and reasonable manner at all times, to avoid accidents and harming those around them. When someone fails in this duty, and you’re injured as a result, that driver is legally negligent. And while insurance may offer some assistance to you, it doesn’t always cover everything. That’s why California allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit – so that you can be made whole.
However, the clock starts ticking the moment your accident occurs. The statute of limitations is a legal limit placed upon your right to file a lawsuit. California sets that limit at two years for most motor vehicle accidents and injuries. This means that you have two years to file your lawsuit – if you fail to do so, you lose the right to sue forever.
Practical time limit
It’s important to keep in mind that there are other time considerations as well. The strength of your lawsuit depends upon the available evidence. As time passes, memories fade and evidence can become stale. The sooner you exercise your right to file a lawsuit, the sooner an investigation can be conducted and evidence is preserved. This helps to ensure your case is as strong as possible, increasing the likelihood of your success.